Football coaches welcome addition of 12-U competition
Local football coaches welcomed the approval of a 12-Under division for this year’s football competition of the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation, Inc. (Cesafi), the premier inter-school league in Cebu which will officially open on August 25 at the Cebu Coliseum.
According to Joselito Bono, the head coach of the University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) football varsity, the development is very good because there is lack of 11-a-side tournaments for the 12-Under players here in Cebu.
Bono, who confirmed that they will be sending a team for the newly opened division, added that it is a welcome addition because the 12-Under players will get to play in more 11-a-side matches, which is better known as the regular football.
Currently, 12-Under booters can only play 11-a-side games during the Cebu City Olympics and the Aboitiz Football Cup. Most tournaments outside the multi-sporting events organized by the Department of Education and the Aboitiz only hold small-sided games for the 12-Under players such as 7-a-side or 9-a-side.
Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu head coach Oliver “Bingbing” Colina was also pleased with the development.
“That’s good, at least the grassroots will be elevated because there is a lack of number of 11-a-side matches for the 12-Under in a year, it is not enough,” said Colina. He added that the Cesafi games will be an add-on since it will expose young players to 11-a-side matches.
As for University of San Carlos (USC) head coach Allan Medalle, the new division is the best thing for the development of grassroots football in Cebu.
“Now, the program is complete. Tertiary, secondary and now, 12-Under of 11-a-side or regulation football. Thanks, Cesafi,” said Medalle.
Cesafi football tournament director Francis Ramirez also sees the approval of a 12-Under division as a good development because “it helps develop the game at an early stage and encourages the member schools to have their own team for their grassroots development.”
Glen Ramos, the Don Bosco Technical College head coach, agreed, saying “it puts emphasis on the individual player and ensures that the individual is placed into appropriate training and competition environment.”
Ramos added that the new division will prompt the Cesafi school members to create an elementary soccer program for the continuity of their varsity program, which means less recruitment especially in the collegiate teams.
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